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  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 08/07/2019)
    Quote from SandmanNess »
    Is this really a conversation about the actual numbers of a deck in MODERN going off on turn 1? Is there any deck ever in modern that was even capable of winning on turn 1 at all, much less at a 10%? A deck that's winning 10% on turn 2 in modern has a fair shot of getting banned, and no, it was on MTGO, not paper. Not to mention it's a deck that can combo turn 1, that can dodge any way to stop it outside of a 1 or 0 mana blue answer even if you actually get a turn to play something. It's unaffected by graveyard hate, unaffected by a chalice on 1, only slightly affected by a chalice on 0. You do nothing and they either have it or they don't. And for a deck that wins on turn 3 that wouldn't be a problem but it isn't winning on turn 3, it's winning before I play my first land. And I'd love to see your <10% data, make sure it's post London Mulligan.
    In the past, there have been decks like AmuletBloom that have a turn one nut draw (amulet, summer bloom, spirit guide, bounce land, hive mind, pact, x) but never really consistently. The only other deck I can think of is Goryo's which can exile a couple spirit guides, Faithless Looting, play a black source, and Goryo's, but there are likely more behind a bunch of apes. Never at "10%," but it has been possible.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on RGx Assault Loam
    I will post my SCG Classic Worcester report here instead of on the old primer. Last weekend went 6-3 with this RG list:

    I feel like this deck was a great choice for the metagame. I beat Mono-Red Phoenix, AmuletTitan, EldaziTron, GW Vizier Combo, Jund, and UW Control, losing to Dredge twice and Taking Turns, Turns due to three missed Howling Mine triggers in game 3. As far as matchups go for this deck, that's pretty standard.

    I didn't take many match notes and don't remember exactly how the matches went, but I remember getting absolutely dumpstered by Dredge multiple times. Before Creeping Chill, the matchup was great as I could just kill all their creatures over and over again and get in for damage with my attackers. With CC, since I'm planning to play the long game, I essentially start at 8 life and my opponent starts at 32. It's kind of stupid, so I added a Surgical Extraction to my sideboard after the tournaments for one of the Tormod's Crypt. The deck doesn't really need surgical, just a way to get rid of all the cards in a graveyard once or twice a game to combat Storm or Bedlam Reveler etc., but if I can cast surgical on CC, the dredge matchup is very winnable.

    I also made an error playing a second Satyr Wayfinder as a way to chump block against Mono-Red Phoenix which I thought would dominate the tables, but I was mistaken and I had multiple occasions where I wished I had another land instead of the Wayfinder.

    All in all, the tournament gave me some real confidence in this deck. It seems very consistent now with Wrenn and cycling lands.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on RGx Assault Loam
    Definitely missed some GQ stuff. Will be fixed.

    I prefer playing a few Graven Cairns in my Jund lists as it also taps for red for Seismic Assault. In Smallpox lists, Urborg is great, but I don't really even like Smallpox in AssaultLoam.

    Trade Routes is a card, but it doesn't fit into the base temur shell here, I like it more in a 4C shell which is even more testing which would push the primer even more far off.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on RGx Assault Loam
    Hey all, this is my first primer and is a work in progress. I'm planning on writing a sideboard and matchup guide for each of the decks here which will take some time, but I'm excited to bring a fresh coat of paint to this primer.

    Any suggestions or questions are appreciated.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    Hey all, been a while.

    I've been away from magic for a few months because of family stuff, but am pleased to announce the new primer is up on Deck Creation!

    I brought my RG list to the SCG Classic and Worcester last weekend which was my first real tournament in a while, and went 6-3 with losses to Dredge twice and Taking Turns. I probably should have won against turns, it was a close 3 games, but I missed a few Howling Mine triggers (apparently my opponent's fault because it was his permanent which I found out in a judge call... but still) which mattered a lot, since if I drew any land of of the trigger I'd have won the game...

    If you all could read over the primer and check for spelling/grammar errors, it would be great!

    I'm gonna be active now on here again, so if you have any new questions or discussions, they can be made in that new primer.

    Thanks a lot!
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on RGx Assault Loam

    RGx AssaultLoam

    AssaultLoam describes a wide category of midrange decks that use early game disruption to stall long enough to assemble the Life from the Loam + Seismic Assault engine as a sort of combo finish. Originally an old extended deck, the archetype was established in modern by Bronson Magnan when he won GP Lincoln with the deck in 2012. Since then, while the popularity of the deck has declined its strengths have not. In the current metagame, the archetype is extremely effective as it has great matchups against top decks like Phoenix and Humans due to its recurring disruption.
    Loam decks come in many shapes and sizes. Like many engine-based decks such as ThopterSword or pre-ban Pod, the AssaultLoam combo can be ported into all RGx variations depending on your metagame. Each of these archetypes will be discussed individually in this primer, but to start, let’s look at a few key cards and synergies to watch out for in the decklists.

    Life from the Loam - The namesake card of the deck. It’s a one-card card advantage engine that can get back 3 lands each turn which can essentially be turned into spells by effects like Seismic Assault, Faithless Looting, Flame Jab, Raven’s Crime, cycling lands, Liliana of the Veil...the list goes on.

    Seismic Assault - With Loam, this turns into a one-sided boardwipe every turn, and with the new cycling lands, that 6 damage quickly turns into 10 with Loam-Cycle-Loam. That damage eventually goes at your opponents face to round out the game real quick.

    Wrenn and Six - This card has already been putting in work to put Jund back on the back in modern and has upset the balance of Legacy as well. In this archetype, it is just as strong if not stronger as the lands you get back can be easily turned into spells which gives the PW even more depth. I’m not yet sure what number is correct for this card, but it has given the deck some momentum after the Hogaak ban.

    Let’s look at some decklists and see how these cards fit in.


    The classic version of this archetype. I haven’t tested the new cards in this archetype fully, which will be similar for the rest of the strategies, but I think this will be a good starting point to go off of.

    Now for this archetype you can either play Faithless Looting and focus more on AssaultLoam or cut looting and play a more traditional Jund game with AssaultLoam to finish the game. I’m more familiar with the looting-less list, but both are here for reference.

    One of the biggest problems with this “prelim” list will be the lands which will likely need some tuning.

    This archetype is kind of foreign to me. It was the brainchild of the previous owner of the primer with counterspells like Deprive and cantrips like Serum Visions. Now, Jace, the Mindsculptor adds a lot to lynchpin this deck into a more secure consistent beast.

    This list is gonna be purely what I think it could look like. I’m unsure on most of these card choices, so this is a rough outline that I will iron out over some time and some help from the community as well.
    [/deck]3 Faithless Looting
    4 Serum Visions
    3 Lightning Bolt
    2 Dismember
    1 Flame Jab
    1 Spell Pierce

    4 Young Pyromancer
    2 Snapcaster Mage
    3 Life from the Loam
    2 Wrenn and Six
    3 Deprive

    3 Seismic Assault
    1 Living Twister
    2 Cryptic Command
    2 Jace, the Mindsculptor

    Lands: 24
    4 Wooded Foothills

    2 Scalding Tarn
    2 Mountain
    3 Steam Vents
    2 Stomping Ground
    1 Breeding Pool

    1 Wandering Fumarole
    2 Cascade Bluffs
    1 Sheltered Thicket
    1 Forgotten Cave
    2 Ghost Quarter
    1 Gemstone Mine
    1 Fiery Islet
    1 Rootbound Crag

    3 Swan’s Song
    1 Beast Within
    2 Anger of the Gods
    2 Tireless Tracker
    2 Tormod’s Crypt
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Engineered Explosives
    1 Ghost Quarter[/deck]

    This is the deck I thought was best before Modern Horizons that I was playing. It looks pretty insane, but I will explain the math behind it later. This list heavily utilized Dark Confidant to get back value lost by the mana hungry/discard enchantment Molten Vortex. With Wrenn and Six, which some Jund players at my lgs are calling a “Dark Confidant that always hits a land and kills x/1’s and ultimates,” this deck could look much different, though I don’t know how yet. Here’s my list, and over time it will be updated for the new format.


    This archetype is a quintessential midrange deck that tries to stifle aggressive strategies while getting in under control quickly. Each RGx variation will have its own mini things to watch out for which I will specify in each category, however, there is a lot of carryover which I will discuss here.

    First, let’s discuss the combo itself. When you have AssaultLoam online, many new players of the archetype will cast Loam and discard the three lands right away. It is almost always better to hold the lands as long as you can so you can take out something huge. If you keep casting Loam to discard three lands every turn and your opponent plays something like a Karn Liberated and ticks up, then you won’t be able to kill it with one Loam in a single turn. If you hold your three lands, the next turn you can get three more and deal 12 damage in a single shot to kill the Karn. Only once you have enough lands to kill your opponent, don’t have enough lands in your yard to cast loam, or are moving to discard and need to get down to seven cards should you just throw lands randomly. If you are killing creatures, it’s fine, just make sure you do it at a time that makes sense.

    Speaking of casting Loam, to make sure you have enough lands in your yard to cast it, you can pull the lands out first then pay the mana and make targets. With 5 mana, you can cast Loam, get back a Forgotten Cave, cycle, and dredge Loam to cast it again and get 5 lands total. This lets you deal 10 damage with Seismic Assault and is generally the route I take to win the game - play lands up to 5 mana with AssaultLoam online, then Loam-Cycle-Loam to the end. With each 3 mana after that, you can cycle for Loam again and cast it which will get 2 additional lands every time, though that’s pretty uncommon. I’ve done it twice against UW Control and Jund when I drew Loam off the top, but it’s a hefty 14 points of damage that can steal the game.

    Aside from Loam + Seismic Assault, in most lists you also have Loam + Flame Jab or Raven’s Crime. With 5 mana, you can Loam + 3 retrace to either Arc Lightning your opponent’s board or Mind Twist them. This is especially good against control and with Young Pyromancer. Against control, you can try to deal a bunch of damage early and then have turn after turn of JabLoam to win the game, or take a turn off casting spells to Mind Twist them out. With Young Pyromancer in both cases you cast 4 spells and make 4 tokens which your opponents usually can’t deal with since they won’t have a hand any more or won’t have their chump blockers. Keep in mind you can Loam and stockpile lands so you can just cast loam and Flame Jab four times on something like a Thought-Knot Seer.

    Living Twister is a really weird card that was the first thing that made this deck reeally competitive before Horizons. With Seismic Assault and 6 lands in play, you can use all your green sources at your opponent’s end step to bounce 3 lands to your hand, untap, and bounce the other three to deal 12 points of reach to your opponent and win without using your graveyard. This means we can easily assemble a two card combo to get around a Rest in Peace. Twister’s body is no joke too, as it has done me wonders blocking Monastery Swiftspear in Mono-Red Phoenix and bigger 4/4s like Hollow One and Thought-Knot Seer. There is no incentive not to play lands as long as it is on the battlefield as the lands can bounce themselves (meaning it is mana neutral) to be discarded to Seismic Assault at any point.

    When you just have Living Twister, the math is “you can pay 3 mana to bounce a land and deal 2 damage to something.” If you have 6 lands on the battlefield and your opponent is at 6, you can pay 3 twice at your opp’s end step to deal 4 damage, and then on your turn tap 3 to deal 2 more damage and kill. It can also do some weird things with Faithless Looting and Conflagrate, but I haven’t even explored those fully.

    Finally, let’s talk about graveyard hate. This deck doesn’t care too much about a Nihil Spellbomb or other 1 time graveyard hate spells like it. This archetype is fully capable of just behaving like a Jund deck and just winning through beats even through something like a Rest in Peace or Surgical Extraction on Loam, but recently we’ve gotten even more tools to be able to beat these cards.

    With Forgotten Cave, you have the ability to dredge loam at instant speed to save it from Surgical and other hate. It is critically important to hold up mana to do this at all times, as even though we can win and frankly dominate on board still without a graveyard, if we can save the loam, we can win much easier. I just recently lost twice in the same tournament because I was greedy when I had AssaultLoam assembled and Loam-Cycle-Loam’d with 5 mana instead of waiting a turn and doing it with 6. With 6 mana, you still have an extra mana to dredge Loam with in response with a Surgical. I’ll go more in depth in this dance of graveyard hate in sideboarding where you can make yourself less susceptible to it. For now, let’s look at some card choices.

    Faithless Looting - This card shines in this archetype. Nowadays, you find this everywhere in modern, but this may be the fairest deck to play it. Even as a Careful Study, the ability to cycle through your deck to find the right answers to your opponent’s threats while setting up your graveyard with lands to get back with Loam is unmatched. You can also discard those extra lands from Loam to just “draw 2 cards” with Looting late game.

    Lightning Bolt - Simple, efficient removal that can go upstairs late game.

    Path to Exile - Unconditional removal. Very good in the archetype, and is one of the main reasons to splash white.

    Fatal Push - Unconditional removal. Very good in the archetype, and is one of the main reasons to splash whit--- I mean black.

    Lightning Axe - Another removal spell for RG that can kill bigger creatures. I’ve moved away from this card since this deck often gets to the point where you are playing off the top. Lightning Axe in a grindfest is often hard to cast as you don’t have a blank in hand or 6 mana. I’ve gone down to just one Axe in RG as it can help vs Meddling Mage, Thing in the Ice and doesn’t deal you damage like Dismember.

    Dismember - An alternate removal spell for Lightning Axe. If the goal is to kill Thing in the Ice turn 2, it’s important to run removal spells like this one. Due to the issues with Lightning Axe late game, I prefer leaning on this removal spell more.

    Flame Slash - Another way to kill Thing in the Ice. Can be run to get more spells around Meddling Mage. Fairly niche other than that.

    Flame Jab - This spell is more than it may seem. With Life from the Loam, you can cast a 5 mana Arc Lightning each turn. However, in certain matchups this is a godsend. Against Affinity it swings the game. Against Company you can kill their dorks over and over again. Against Jund you can kill Confidant and tick down PWs. Against control, you can get in the last 6 points of damage over two turns. With Young Pyromancer, you make 4 tokens a turn on top of it, which lets you build a boardstate from nothing off the top. I’d recommend running at least 1 as a way to hedge against control, though it is useful in many more situations.

    Raven’s Crime - Similar to Flame Jab, but it is better in many more situations. It can feel really bad casting this card turn one against a Phoenix deck, but if you can discard a couple lands turn three and make your opponent discard 3 spells, it feels sooo good. Very good against control, Jund, BG, Phoenix, Burn, and any “critical mass” deck. Same synergy with Peezy.

    Conflagrate - This card is a very useful utility spell from your graveyard. You can see how good it is in Dredge, though it is decidedly worse here. Often, this helps as a way out of your graveyard to deal with a Gurmag Angler or simply to deal the last few points of damage to a PW or your opp. I’d only run 1 if any.

    Molten Vortex - This card is a build around card, and is a trap to play with Seismic Assault imo. Molten Vortex is a card that requires mana investment and lands in hand, resulting in a very mana hungry card. This hunger gums up your curve and often leaves you in strange situations on mana, especially when your opponent has creatures like Tarmogoyf that are too big to throw lands at. If you are looking for another card vs an aggressive meta to throw in your deck, I’d go for Anger of the Gods over this.

    Magmatic Insight - This card is okay, but has a lot of situations where it is very awkward. People have thought it would just be like another looting in Loam especially with new cards like Wrenn and Six where you can get the card back, but that’s just not the case. A hand with Faithless Looting and two lands is a snap keep, but the same hand with Magmatic Insight has to be thought about. You need to run a million lands to minimize the drawback of Insight.

    Vessel of Nascency - This card is kinda weird. It is similar to Commune with the Gods in effect and can find both Seismic Assault and Life from the Loam. It’s a lot of mana to be invested at 3 mana for a cantrip, but since the deck often isn’t doing anything turn 1, I don’t see a huge problem with it in a more budget strategy. For example, you can cast it turn 1 and hold up a removal spell turn 2. It seems reasonable but not powerful. I’d rate it a 2.5/5.


    Flameblade Adept - This card is a clockable threat in RG that does well as you are AssLoam’ing. You can swing for 4 each turn you AssLoam (or JabLoam for that matter) with this beast and get in for some real damage. With Loam-Cycle-Loam, that turns into 7 attacking power, for a total of 17 in a turn. Legitimate threat, though it is pretty weak on its own. Needs to be built around more I’d say.

    Soul-Scar Mage - Another playable creature threat for the archetype. If Flame Jab is a really good card in the metagame, then consider this card. It turns Flame Jab into a repeatable Scar, and grows to a 5/6 each turn with JabLoam. Making damage permanent can be useful too, as you can slow down the clock from a Tarmogoyf enough to gather up lands in your hand to kill with AssLoam. Weird interactions abound with this one.

    Insolent Neonate - Neonate is a way to cast 2 loams on turn 4 and get in for chip points of damage until then. It dredges Life from the Loam at instant speed in response to a Surgical Extraction or Nihil Spellbomb. It’s a playable card though it has never really had a time to shine.

    Elvish Rejuvenator - New card that could be good in an aggressive shell. A 3/4 for 1 is no joke, and its ability can go grab Raging Ravine, Ghost Quarter, Bojuka Bog, etc. We don’t generally just play beaters other than Tarmogoyf, but this card seems legit enough to get there in the right shell. Seeing how Goyf doesn’t grow well in RG, maybe this will take its slot there.

    Life from the Loam - The card advantage engine that makes this deck tick. You don’t really want to be flooded with these as in multiples they aren’t amazing, so 3-4 is fine especially if you are running cantrips like Faithless Looting, Satyr Wayfinder, and Commune with the Gods. Namesake card is good in the deck.

    Wrenn and Six - This card is busted. Insanely good at so many things: fixing your mana, drawing cards with Forgotten Cave, wicked good with Faithless Looting, is essentially a shock every turn for +2 with a Seismic Assault or just pings by ticking down, combos with Raven’s Crime vs control (t2 Wrenn, get a land, t3 discard 2-3 cards), get GQ every turn against Tron, the card is an all star already in legacy and is even better in this deck.

    Lightning Helix - Nice life gain / removal spell in Naya. I wouldn’t call it a reason to play that variant, but it’s a likely include in most Naya Loam decks.

    Commune with the Gods - This card looks better than it is. If you cast it turn 2, you can hit both Seismic Assault and Life from the Loam. You can. However, when you don’t, especially on the draw, and you hit a Tarmogoyf instead, you regret all your life decisions as you just paid two mana to do nothing turn 2. In modern, you can’t just take turns off which makes Commune really slow on the draw. The reason why the list above plays one is because the card is good at recovering from graveyard hate and is a good draw off the top in a grindfest. Be careful with this card.

    Harvest Pyre - This is another way to kill big creatures. It’s fairly reasonable alongside Satyr Wayfinder and Commune if you want another way to kill an 8/8 Knight of the Reliquary efficiently. Depends on your metagame.

    Tarmogoyf - The quintessential midrange threat. In our deck it can be hard to grow as we have no targeted discard, but the card is never terrible. As the deck is already weak to graveyard hate, some people (me included) choose to play Young Pyromancer in its slot as a way to win without the graveyard, but it’s up to you and your metagame. In decks like Jund Loam, the Lhurgoyf is much better.

    Young Pyromancer - This card looks weird in the Loam deck but it is critically powerful. As a strategy, our goal is to control the board of all threats and win with AssaultLoam. Pyromancer gives us tokens that can win the game off of our removal, and with JabLoam is able to steal the game. It can be often thought of as a 3 drop, casting Peezy and a spell to get an extra token as “card advantage” when able, and is way better than it first seems. The list above is built around it and plays extra spells because of it, making the creature even more powerful. Useful to beat decks that are loose and based on graveyard hate postboard.

    Satyr Wayfinder - I initially tested this card as a budget option. Now, I see how powerful this card can be. Wayfinder takes the slot of a few lands, kind of like how Xerox decks cut lands for cantrips. It effectively is a 2 mana 1/1 that gets you a shock, fixes your mana, and looks at the top 4 to find Loam, Raven’s Crime, Flame Jab, Conflagrate, Faithless Looting, Forgotten Cave, and Ghost Quarter vs tron. The chip points of damage it gets in are impressive as we keep an empty board the majority of the game and the ability it has to block is stellar. I really am a fan of this card, though I have cut a couple for Wrenn and Six.

    Scavenging Ooze - One of the reasons to play RG and not Jund. In Jund Loam your mana is really tight between turn 1 discard and RRR spells and trying to cast multiple Raven’s Crime in one turn… you don’t have much space to eat a bunch of cards each turn. In RG (and also Naya) your mana isn’t as constrained and you can eat a bunch of stuff to help hedge against all the graveyard decks in the format while ending up with a large beater that can help against Jund. This card is great.

    Seismic Assault - The reason to play Loam. With Life from the Loam, you can continually wipe the board then kill your opponent.

    Liliana of the Veil - Really good card in the Loam deck. You can just discard lands and get them back. A must include in any Jund strategy.

    Anger of the Gods - A good catchup spell for the archetype. Doesn’t play well with Young Pyromancer, but if you play your hand right then it won’t matter.

    Burning Vengeance - A reasonable option for a backup Seismic Assault. If you cast Flame Jab or Raven’s Crime while this is on the battlefield, it turns into a 1 mana Arc Trail or Kolaghan’s Command, and JabLoam deals 9 dmg. It’s a possible budget option if you want to make Young Pyromancer and prowess creatures better, and is a viable alternative to the AssaultLoam combo. Useful in a metagame where you want more Assaults.

    Countryside Crusher - The biggest creature in this archetype. If you cast this turn 3, it will almost assuredly become a 5/5 (if not bigger) turn 4. The ability makes you not draw lands ever on your draw step, which can be useful but be mindful of it. If you cast Crusher with three lands, one of them being something like a forest that doesn’t tap for R, you won’t be able to cast Seismic Assault without dredging Loam to get another mana source. Crusher walls out big creatures and gets in for a ton of damage with AssaultLoam online. Alongside AssLoam, Crusher grows even bigger and has an empty board to swing in for lethal in 1 to 2 turns.

    Knight of the Reliquary - This card is the major reason to play Naya. It is an incredible beater, often coming down as a 4/4 or more and growing higher. Unfortunately, it isn’t as good as it is in AggroLoam in legacy, and can easily be answered by graveyard hate. Real good include.

    Living Twister - This card is insane in this archetype. At first, I played one copy to test it out, but I’ve added another recently due to the success it has brought me. It does a decent job of walling out aggro decks as you can block anything from a Hollow One to a Thought-Knot Seer to random Humans with it. Its second ability is not what stands out on the card, though it’s far from useless - paying two mana to deal the last two points of damage to a creature is useful in many situations. Its first ability is where the card gets interesting. Alongside Seismic Assault, Living Twister gives you a way to tap out, bounce all your lands, and win the game without Life from the Loam. On its own, you can pay 3 mana to bounce a land and discard it, meaning that if your opponent has 6 or less life and you have 6 or more lands, on their end step you can pay six to deal 4, untap and deal two. You can bounce your played cycle lands to cycle them, you can bounce lands to replay with Tireless Tracker, you emulate AssaultLoam with Loam over two turns. With 4 mana, you can cast loam, deal two, next turn deal 4. This card has a lot of weird interactions, and I’ll go over them later, but this card is insane.

    Tireless Tracker - Quintessential green midrange creature for a while now. This card is a threat on its own, which is notable in the archetype since most of our threats are synergistic with each other. Seismic Assault is mediocre if you have no lands to back it up. Young Pyromancer is pretty bad if you have no spells to cast. Tracker draws cards and attacks for big damage on its own, something important in midrange and control matchups. The reason why I prefer it in my sideboard is because the maindeck is pretty tuned to those decks already. Tracker is worse against hyperaggressive decks like Phoenix where I can play a better creature like Scavenging Ooze. It wouldn’t be wrong to play it maindeck, but I don’t think it’s necessary with the amount of card advantage you already have.

    Bedlam Reveler - This was the card I relied on before Living Twister was printed for late game card advantage. With extra spells, you can commonly cast this for 3 mana off the top, giving you a 3/4 body attached to an Ancestral Recall (which you can dredge Loam off too.) Works well with JabLoam, which grows Reveler to a 7/8 each turn, a great finisher vs Control. It costs 8 mana vs a Leyline of the Void or Rest in Peace postboard, which makes me lean towards something less vulnerable to hate, but it is a viable option nonetheless.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    Faithless looting is overrate in my experience. It give you card disadvantage. And offers no defensive capabilities.

    Commune with the gods while searching for answers in a better fashion, also does not lose card advantage. And both of you didn't point out it does a better job of pumping Countryside crusher and Tarmogoyf than faithless looting does.

    A one-of Urborg is near useless when you want it early because loam is the best tool to find it but by the time you get loam running their hand is practically depleted.
    Faithless Looting doesn't lose card advantage in this archetype. If Looting discards cards that want to be in the graveyard, it is practically card advantage. Digging 2 cards deeper for Loam, Assault, and all of the answers you need against any deck makes looting the most efficient and powerful cantrip possible for this archetype.

    When you are running this many lands too, often times you can discard your fifth land alongside another card. So even if you don't have Loam to get all the lands you discarded back, you can easily find enough cards to discard. In those corner cases where you have to discard a "real card" from your hand, Looting offers you card selection where for instance you can discard a Countryside Crusher if you have a hand with multiple three drops. Looting smooths out the draws of the deck and gives you something to do late game with flashback.

    While Commune may not lose card advantage, it definitely loses tempo, which is much more important in this case. Late game, you can double spell with it, making it stronger. Early game, if you take a turn off to effectively draw a card, maybe set up your graveyard better, it's not powerful enough. The reason why I say if you hit Seismic Assault it is worth it is because Assault can effectively wipe the board the next turn to come back. If you take a turn off only to hit another Tarmogoyf, you probably would have been better off to play a Goyf that turn instead.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    I will reiterate how I feel about Commune with the Gods, especially with match experience from last week.

    Commune with the Gods is a neat spell that has the possibility of both finding loam and grabbing Seismic Assault, but when it does neither (especially on the draw) it destroys your gameplan.

    For instance, last week, when I was playing against BG Rock, my opponent is on the play. He turn 1 casts Inquisition of Kozilek, taking Scavenging Ooze. I turn 1 Faithless Looting. Turn 2 he casts Tarmogoyf, I cast Commune with the Gods getting another Scooze, flipping more card types for goyf. Turn 3 he attacks with goyf, plays another one, and I'm sitting there with nothing on my battlefield facing down two 5/6 goyfs. I can play scooze next turn, but he def has removal spells (he did) and I look real bad.

    Commune is a tempo negative card that seems to set up our game plan but really doesn't. Our gameplan is to use cheap threats and removal to get to a late game where AssaultLoam can take over. Commune hard commits to hitting AssaultLoam turn 3 which isn't always feasible. I play it as a one of for different reasons - it's a good draw late game vs control/midrange, and it is useful in reassembling your graveyard after something like Nihil Spellbomb.

    I will repost my RG AssaultLoam deck which is currently 16-4-2 at my LGS with the addition of Living Twister. This deck uses Satyr Wayfinder instead of Commune with the Gods since it is a tempo positive card that can block in aggressive matchups and get in for chip points of damage in control matchups. It still digs for loam and lets us play fewer lands. The removal spells are wholly designed to take out Thing in the Ice turn 2 on the draw and help vs Meddling Mage in Humans. The curve is rather low to the ground with no 4 drops clogging us up. Young Pyromancer replaces Tarmogoyf as it gums up the board quickly vs aggressive decks and isn't affected by cards like Rest in Peace. I think this is the best RG list in the meta as it stands currently, and post-rotation I'll likely add 2 or 3 Wrenn and Six over the Satyr Wayfinder / Commune with the Gods slot.

    I'm currently doing thorough testing on Jund Loam for the primer. I may post the initial primer outlining in depth RG Loam since I've been playing it for the last 3 months and post basic guides for the other archetypes. The deck hasn't seen a lot of results aside from the odd MTGO 5-0 Leagues, so all the decks need to be built from scratch. If anyone wants to help test out Temur and Naya Loam, shoot me a PM and we can coordinate those together more. I currently have 6 different archetypes on the primer (RG, Jund, Temur, Naya, RG Vortex, Jund Vortex), which have decklists that have not gone through thorough testing so probably have wrong manabases, since those are very touchy with 3 colors and a RRR spell. That means that if you do what I did and try to jam, say, 2 Scavenging Ooze into the Jund archetype it won't be the most streamlined manabase ever created. I'm going back and forth on how the primer should come out at first, but it will be for the community, so I figure the community should have a say in what they want to see. If you guys are cool with a couple tuned decklists and strategy and then some outlines for list for the other archetypes, I'd be able to release the primer right now. I just want to make sure that it doesn't come out looking like crap and makes the deck look like garbage, because this is the deck that makes me love modern, and I want to share that with people. Love Love Love
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    If fact there are only a few instances I'd even consider running flame jab over molten vortex.
    Flame Jab is a much better one of than Molten Vortex. While Vortex is much better in your hand, the point of the FJ is to be useful when you flip it into your yard with Life from the Loam. It may not have as much utility in a combo heavy meta where you are getting bulldozed turn 3-4, but as a one of for the matches against creature decks and control where you can simply Arc Lightning each turn to help with PWs or to deal the last couple points of damage, the card is great. It's a very noncommital slot that can be sideboarded out easily.

    Blast Zone is a good 1-of or maybe 2-of maindeck to help in certain matchups like Bogles, Prison, or Aether Vial strategies. I'd try to run it if you have enough space. Out of SB, I'd lean more towards something like Engineered Explosives or even Ratchet Bomb if EE is out of your price range.
    Quote from Ace1 »
    Well i've thought about sakura-tribe scout a bit more and one advantage it gives to straight RG decks is compensating the less versatile interaction with speed. We can still play the midrange game with faithless looting, wrenn and six, life from the loam and cycling lands. If we can slow down the opponent earlier by dropping our payoff cards faster and gain the ability to do multiple things a turn sooner, it may turn the game to our advantage and compensate for some of our clunkiness. Also makes things like blast zone less slow and gives us the ability to start ghost quartering without giving up too much tempo.

    I wouldn't play scout in jund or temur, now that i think about it. But i'll be trying it out in gruul. Maybe it isn't good but i'll give it a try Smile
    Fair enough mate. Let us know how it goes!
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    I was just curious what do you guys think of tectonic reformation? Is it worth a card? Or do you think just having 3 cycling lands in our deck being churned through with Life of the loam will be enough card draw? I was thinking about playing it as a 2 of in the deck until I get a feeling for whether it's good or not. I mean it even cycles so if we do have enough cycle lands in our hand we can always get rid of it if we want to.
    I also think reformation is a trap. The cycle lands are good enough to have a backup plan to get through your deck, this enchantment just is a sometimes blank card that gives more card advantage to a deck that often floods on card advantage. We need more card density, not purely card advantage.
    Quote from Ace1 »
    Any thoughts on regrowth now being modern legal? Getting back key pieces that were milled, looted or destroyed seems good, or just having the option to do the bolt regrowth bolt play is maybe good enough?

    Also a card i want to try out alongside wrenn and six is sakura-tribe scout. Some people mentioned how the planeswalker can do busted play with exploration in legacy. Scout is the closet thing to that and can ramp us every turn as long as we have a way to get back dredged lands or fetchlands. Getting to the critical 5 lands will be important because now with the cycling lands we have access to the classic play of cast 2 loams a turn with a cycling land so that we can pitch 5 lands each turn to assault or influence for profit. We can now basically deal 20 damage in two turn from there, which is pretty sweet.
    I honestly forgot Regrowth was reprinted. That card looks great, though its not very proactive. Having practically a 2 mana tutor is good, though we probably wouldn't want it till the late game as in the aggressive meta we really need a good curve or to answer our opponent's threats on curve, so I wouldn't play more than 1-2.

    I don't think we want to play Tribe-Scout for a few reasons. For one, at base level, it's way less strong than Exploration. That isn't saying much on its own, it's like saying you shouldn't play Lightning Strike in standard since it's not Lightning Bolt. My point is in legacy, Exploration gets you to 4 lands on turn 2, and doesn't die to Lightning Bolt or Fatal Push. In legacy, the lands you get back are also considerably more powerful. For instance, you play Taiga into turn 1 Exploration in legacy. Extra land play Wasteland. Next turn you play another Taiga, play Wrenn and Six, and Wasteland your opponent every turn for the rest of the game. (as long as all the pieces stay assembled of course.) You can obviously ramp from that too with fetchlands and land drops from your hand, but the current iteration of Lands in legacy wouldn't care - maybe some aggroloam variant would, though they don't usually play Exploration which may change.

    I digress. My point is that there is no rush to get to 5 mana by turn 3 purely because our opponents are still playing magic. If we have an exact hand of Tribe-Scout, Loam, Wrenn, Assault, Land, Land, Land, (one of which being a fetch) Spell, Spell, we can get to 5 mana turn 3 and cast Seismic Assault and Life from the Loam in the same turn and start Loam-Cycle-Loam. That's a good set up for Assault to be good, but it still won't kill until turn 5 at the earliest. I think the deck should be focused on more of a midrange plan than a combo plan. There's a reason why this deck is in the midrange subforum and not the combo subforum. IMO, the goal of the deck should be more to gain edges in card advantage while dealing with your opponents threats and putting pressure on with your cheap threats with the AssaultLoam or BearLoam engine on top to close games. If we commit to a pseudo mana dork in Tribe-Scout we open ourselves up to get rekt by worse draws off the top and simple removal spells. I'd rather play a card that affects the board more and that is better in a grindy situation. Who knows, I may be wrong.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on "What Deck Should I Play" thread
    Scratch that. For some reason I thought they were reprinting Nether Shadow, not Nether Spirit.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    Long post inc.
    Quote from TheShowCase50 »
    Hey guys! I’m new to the deck archetype but have been very interested for a while now and after seeing these spoilers I wanna go all in and join the Loam Assault gang lol. I had a question though, I know a lot of you love BBE, but what about that new card with cascade and retrace? Which card is better with this archetype?
    Historically, BBE hasn't been featured prominently in the deck. In a list with Assault, BearSault and better 3 drop hits, I would say BBE is better because it has legs, hasty ones as that and we have better things we can be doing with lands that we discard from Loam.
    However, effectively paying 4 mana to cast the next spell in your deck seems good vs control. We have other options to spend our mana on in those occasions that are less expensive and therefore get under counterspells better, but the retrace spell would have to be tested. To be honest, I would lean towards neither one in the deck, though the retrace spell does need to get tested (along with like 10 other cards now, so all hands on deck...).
    Quote from TheShowCase50 »
    Also, what are your opinions about the jund version of the deck? I also like the idea of 3 assault, 2 bear enchantment, 1 twister, but how effective can this be in relation to 3 or 4 Assault and 2 vortex?
    Also what does countryside crusher bring to the table?
    Jund is the classic archetype for AssaultLoam, and I honestly think that Jund VortexLoam is the best version of the deck in the modern metagame right now.

    In regards to your proposal, I have always been an advocate of picking one enchantment (out of Seismic Assault, Molten Vortex, and Burning Vengeance + Flame Jab) to build around as each one is fundamentally different. Assault is the most universal (as in you can throw it into the other subcategories and be okay), so for instance you could likely play 4 Molten Vortex and 1 Seismic Assault in VortexLoam or 2 Burning Vengeance and 3 Seismic Assault in a spells list and be perfectly well off. Molten Vortex requires extra mana investment in relation to the other enchantments, and if you are in a creature heavy metagame with Humans and Spirits where you would want it, mathmatically, it requires just over 30 lands to consistently keep board control starting t2-3 onward. With wrenn and Six that number may actually go down, but likely not below 28. For this reason, I find it hard to throw Molten Vortex into a loam list.

    I don't want to kill the hype around Ayula's Influence, but the card doesn't seem to easily slot into any lists at the moment. Seismic Assault is a much more versatile tool that can control the board and put pressure on your opponents life totals in the face of on board interaction. While Ayula's Influence can similarly put the pressure on, it also is worse in many more matchups as people don't care if you are making bears if they are comboing off with Storm or simply have an Ensnaring Bridge. Seismic Assault makes a much bigger impression in those matchups an in general though it does get hated out by Leyline of Sanctity which is the most major advantage the Influence has imo. I think the Ayula's Influence deck will look much different, and may drop red in general in favor of colors that can deal with those downsides. I'm too buried under this pile of cards to even think about what a BGx Influence deck would look like, but I think that's where BearAssault will fit in.

    Living Twister, though it can act as a bigger, more expensive Molten Vortex, is better for its synergy with Seismic Assault as it can bounce all the lands on the battlefield into your hand to deal the last 12 or so points of damage to your opponent. I think you are right on either 1 or 2 Twister.

    In summary, however boring it may seem, I think for AssaultLoam, 3-4 Assault are good enough with 1-2 Living Twister to back them up. Playing too many enchantments dilutes the deck
    Maybe this is not the most popular opinion: I don't think red is the color you want in a loam deck.

    Red brings: Bolt, Wrenn&Six and seismic assault. The rest is honestly not that great. Flame jab, is cool but nowadays you can go much bigger late game. Rioter and dragon are a joke compared to the creatures modern already got, so I hardly see a reason to include those. Imagine the dragon is RR and 5 lands in the GY. You have to fetch turn 1 and 2 and the dredge 3 lands to play a 4/4 haste on turn 3. Or you have to fetch on turn 1 2 and 3 and loot 2 lands in the GY to play this turn 3. You can play so many better card with much less effort. I know people like this card but when you really anylize it, it's actually not that great, unfortunately. At least I don't believe in I vesting so much in a 4/4 dude when you can play better cards Smile

    The enchantment is a 2 mana do nothing. And later in the game you can cycle your cards, but how often do you actually want to do this when you want to make landdrops at least until the early late game. You really cannot afford this in Modern.
    Faithless looting is a great cars, but doesn't synergize much with the rest of the deck besides being a cantrip that actually is card disadvantage without a loam engine active.
    All in all red just falls a bit short if you would compare it with cards from other colors that just have a bigger value.

    When analyzing this, I think going another route is the best way to approach this archtype in Modern.

    So first of all, this is a regular midrange deck. It uses discard and removal to deal with the strategy of the opponent.
    Fatal Push, Path to Exile and Trophy are the best all round removal in the format. Liliana of the Veil and the last hope, both provide a control element in terms of board and hand control.

    So you got a pretty solid game plan here. Disrupt, remove and combat. Normally a strategy like this easily runs out of gas when cards go 1 for 1. This is where confidant comes in, (the average manacost is about 1.1, so that's not to bad) together with the cycle lands and eledamri's Call. These cards make sure you draw a lot of cards to keep up with your own Liliana and to draw more useful cards to stay in control.
    Hi Selene, thanks for posting.

    I think a list based on legacy AggroLoam is great. I think leaving out red is a bad decision however as Seismic Assault is the single reason to play a midrange Loam shell in modern.

    While legacy AggroLoam looks like the deck you posted nowadays, if you go back 7-10 years ago, it was a 4 color deck with 3-4 Knight of the Reliquary, 1-2 Countryside Crusher, and 2-3 Seismic Assault along with Punishing Fire. That's because back then, Legacy was a more creature heavy format with old Death and Taxes and Maverick strategies alongside the newly printed Stoneforge Mystic and later Delver of Secrets. That legacy, is a lot more conducive to what we know in modern at present. Nowadays in legacy, casting a 3 mana enchantment isn't good enough because there isn't a lot to kill on board. Though it may be good against a deck like death and taxes, even Death and Taxes will make you wait till turn 4 to cast it with cards like Thalia, Rishadan Port and Wasteland. It's horrible in the legacy metagame, so they shifted to the BGx style as we know in modern and ran with the deck.

    In modern we don't have Punishing Fire to kill creatures. In legacy, that is your out against decks that want to play creatures. In modern, a format ruled by hyperaggressive creature decks where you'd want it, we need something to help maintain board control.

    Even if we only play red for Seismic Assault, it is worth it in the metagame. Assault lets us have recurring disruption against every aggressive deck and gives us a favorable matchup against the best decks in the format like Izzet Phoenix and Humans. In the old days of the deck, you didn't even have to play 4 Assault; some people just "splashed" red (it's kinda hard to splash a spell that costsRRR but I digress) and played 3 Assault with 3 Loam. I can't stress how good Seismic Assault is, especially now, though I think many people rely on it too hard as the "end all be all."

    Assault is really in the deck to give a late game punch. It is a sweeper turn 3 that kills planeswalkers and wipes the board too. You don't deal damage with it to your opponent until you have 10 lands in your hand. Each turn you can deal 6 damage to your opp's board, or choose to hold up the lands to deal say 8 damage to an opposing 6/7 Tarmogoyf. With the new cycling lands, you can deal 10 damage per turn instead once you hit 5 mana. Assault is your sole reason to play red, everything else is a cherry on top.

    I agree with you that most of the new cards are traps for the deck. The Dragon and Rioter are a little loose and not as powerful as the deck can be. Rioter may be powerful but has to be built around, and I don't think would just slot in well to the archetype. Tectonic Reformation could be good, but has many applications where it just doesn't do much. The cycling cost on it may make it playable in the archetype but slots are limited in the deck.

    Faithless Looting in our deck says "Draw 2 cards, Flashback, Draw 2 cards." Even if you don't have loam, discarding cards that you want to be in the graveyard practically makes it card advantage. With Wrenn now too, you can get back those lands you discard over 2 turns, serving the same role as loam.

    On top of this, Wrenn and Six at worst makes us hit land drops every turn. At best, it gets us cycling lands to draw cards. It gets back Ghost Quarter against tron (in testing had this happen, best feeling in my life). It gets back Blast Zone vs decks like Bogles. And with our board control, it ticks up to its ultimate, which practically says "Win the Game." Don't sleep on this card.

    You laugh at Flame Jab, but that card is often just a 1 of for control. You have your opponent at 6 life after a gruelingly grindy game of playing around countermagic and barely killing planeswalkers with creature lands. Over 2 turns with Loam and Flame Jab, you win the game. There aren't many cards in modern that let you win out of your yard like this that see a lot of play. Conflagrate does it but is more vulnerable to countermagic. It also kills creatures more often than you would think, with it being a win con vs Affinity and keeping problematic planeswalkers in check. It is a pretty loose spell in terms of density, but a 1 of Flame Jab wins games.

    One of the biggest upsides to your list compared to RG is the straightforward midrange gameplan. Discard spells, removal, and cheap threats.
    When you explained that I was honestly very confused because that is what every midrange deck in modern does. The most played version of AssaultLoam is Jund, which has the same packages and gameplan with a better lategame. Here's a 5-0 list from January that shows the basic outline of the deck:Now I will say I disagree with a lot of the choices of this deck, but it shows the basic outline of the gameplan. Discard spells, cheap threats, and endgame card advantage. The red splash is just for Assault and Looting, and the rest of the deck is a BG deck with a Traverse package. I don't think the Traverse package is necessary, and in fact would just rather them play a playset of Dark Confidant but this deck is like the original deck back when the archetype was brought into modern; Jund+. It's like Jund but you have this late game card advantage engine. I have my own Jund Loam list on the primer which will be posted in the next two days, but it's pretty similar to this one in terms of removal packages just differing in threat choice. There are gonna be about 6 archetypes covered in the primer and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. The RG list has been discussed at length on here recently because it was formerly almost unplayable but has found new upgrades over time to make it competitive in the current metagame.

    Now in your Abzan AggroLoam list, I feel like the worst card is Life from the Loam. I would honestly go down to 2 as you only need one in the late game as you are cycling through your deck. Over that, I think one Nourishing Peatland would be a good card to go fetch with KOTR or another cycling land would be satisfactory.

    End of Essay... cue tomorrow getting more spoilers and more testing EEK!
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    Quote from Capt. Nick »
    @Cryptic Commander - Wrenn and Six could easily be a 3-of over a Countryside Crusher. Depends on how full the 3-slot feels in playtesting. I mainly didn't want to get stuck with a bunch of Wrenn in hand. They don't work as well in multiples as Loam does unfortunately. But I am really excited to see them in action.
    I've been testing 4 in this list, and it's been great:
    Lands: 30
    2 Blast Zone
    2 Fire-Lit Thicket
    1 Forest
    4 Ghost Quarter
    1 Grove of the Burnwillows
    1 Treetop Village
    5 Mountain
    1 Raging Ravine
    3 Rootbound Crag
    4 Sheltered Thicket
    2 Stomping Ground
    4 Wooded Foothills

    2 Magmatic Insight
    4 Faithless Looting
    1 Flame Jab
    2 Lightning Axe
    3 Lightning Bolt
    4 Molten Vortex
    4 Life from the Loam
    2 Scavenging Ooze
    4 Wrenn and Six
    4 Countryside Crusher

    SB: 15
    2 Alpine Moon
    2 Anger of the Gods
    2 Engineered Explosives
    2 Pulse of Murasa
    2 Force of Vigor
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    2 Tireless Tracker
    2 Tormod's Crypt
    The sideboard is a mess but the list is pretty simple. The Jund Vortex deck really relies on Dark Confidant to be able to dig through the lands in the deck, and RG has never had anything like it. Wrenn and Six doesn't "churn through the deck" so to say, but drawing an extra card each turn that can be pitched to Molten Vortex is usually enough to make the enchantment a real threat even without drawing a Life from the Loam. Wrenn has never felt clunky in this deck as people often try and kill it as soon as they see the shenanigans we are trying to pull. You can use extra Wrenns to draw multiple lands in a turn if need be, and or to deal 2 dmg to a creature to kill it, and or to replace fallen copies. And if you have a lot of multiples, you can in the end discard it to a looting, though that can be said about every card ever so it's not a very good argument.

    Wrenn is critical to the Vortex gameplan, so I can see it being not as powerful in the RG Assault lists. I'd still stick to 3 from what I've seen, as a turn 2 Wrenn does so much for the strategy. For instance, t2 Wrenn +1 into t3 +1 Assault is +4 damage to the board, which is veerry significant vs a deck like humans or even dredge. Loam can do a similar thing with two fetches, but Wrenn will keep ticking up to its ult which will win the game quick. Idk, I'm just really enthralled with the card.

    And also... not to get anyone's hopes up but the same source that leaked the new card Hogaak had the Onslaught Cycle lands in the background... Just saying with Wrenn those are insane.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on [Primer] Assault Loam
    Quote from Capt. Nick »
    Barring other spoilers that may get included, this is where I'm sitting on a decklist once we get our new toys. It's a really light green splash in a primarily red deck. Trying to be fairly aggressive while having the Assault+Loam package to grind out games. A decent top end to give some late game punch.

    Not sure on Goyf v Young Pyromancer. I'm just worried there aren't enough ways to trigger YP and make him worthwhile and Goyf is generally just a big dude. So I'm leaning that way.

    I could see swapping out Koth and getting Ayula's Influence in to a more green supported deck over Living Twister. I have wanted to play Koth in Loam for a long time and this seems like a good opportunity to test him out.
    I like this list. I agree the fewer spells point you more towards goyf, and Bloodbraid has a lot of good hits. I think Wrenn is good enough to run 3, but that’s my only gripe. In my preliminary testing with Wrenn and VortexLoam, the ability of Wrenn to tick up over time to his ultimate is very strong. Wrenn plus Looting is a ccc-combo even when you don’t have an Enchantment, and the ability to hit all your land drops with him threatening to ultimate if you keep the board clean is great.

    Living Twister enables a simple combo kill with Assault if you have no graveyard, so I think it’s worth it to have some copies over the influence.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on "What Deck Should I Play" thread
    Dredge is likely the most resilient, as it is getting Nether Spirit and has persisted the years with and without Golgari Grave-Troll. The only card I could see getting banned in the deck is Creeping Chill, but that wouldn’t kil the archetype, just make it less explosive.

    Titan is cool but hard to play. I’d say wait to see where goblins ends up after horizons and decide from there.
    Posted in: Modern
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